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Painter, Nell Irvin. The History of White People. New York. 2010. Norton. 9780393049343. 496 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Keenan. 


9780393049343FROM THE PUBLISHER -

A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race - not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively. Our story begins in Greek and Roman antiquity, where the concept of race did not exist, only geography and the opportunity to conquer and enslave others. Not until the eighteenth century did an obsession with whiteness flourish, with the German invention of the notion of Caucasian beauty. This theory made northern Europeans into ‘Saxons,’ ‘Anglo-Saxons,’ and ‘Teutons,’ envisioned as uniquely handsome natural rulers. Here was a worldview congenial to northern Europeans bent on empire. There followed an explosion of theories of race, now focusing on racial temperament as well as skin color. Spread by such intellectuals as Madame de Stael and Thomas Carlyle, white race theory soon reached North America with a vengeance. Its chief spokesman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, did the most to label Anglo-Saxons - icons of beauty and virtue - as the only true Americans. It was an ideal that excluded not only blacks but also all ethnic groups not of Protestant, northern European background. The Irish and Native Americans were out and, later, so were the Chinese, Jews, Italians, Slavs, and Greeks - all deemed racially alien. Did immigrations threaten the very existence of America? Americans were assumed to be white, but who among poor immigrants could become truly American? A tortured and convoluted series of scientific explorations developed - theories intended to keep Anglo-Saxons at the top: the ever-popular measurement of skulls, the powerful eugenics movement, and highly biased intelligence tests - all designed to keep working people out and down. As Nell Irvin Painter reveals, power - supported by economics, science, and politics - continued to drive exclusionary notions of whiteness until, deep into the twentieth century, political realities enlarged the category of truly American. A story filled with towering historical figures, THE HISTORY OF WHITE PEOPLE forcefully reminds us that the concept of one white race is a recent invention. The meaning, Painter Nell Irvin importance, and reality of this all-too-human thesis of race have buckled under the weight of a long and rich unfolding of events.

 

NELL IRVIN PAINTER, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University, is the author of seven books, including SOJOURNER TRUTH and STANDING AT ARMAGEDDON. She has served as president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Newark, New Jersey, and the Adirondacks.

 

 

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Walker, David. David Walker's Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. University Park. 2000. Penn State University Press. 9780271019949. Edited, with an introduction and annotations by Peter P. Hinks. 5 x 8.5. 2 illustrations. 184 pages. paperback.

 

9780271019949FROM THE PUBLISHER -

In 1829 David Walker, a free black born in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote one of America’s most provocative politicaldocuments of the nineteenth century, Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World. Decrying the savage and unchristian treatment blacks suffered in the United States, Walker challenged his 'afflicted and slumbering brethren' to rise up and cast off their chains. Walker worked tirelessly to circulate his book via underground networks in the South, and he was so successful that Southern lawmakers responded with new laws cracking down on 'incendiary' antislavery material. Although Walker died in 1830, the Appeal remained a rallying point for African Americans for many years to come, anticipating the radicalism of later black leaders, from Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, Jr. In this new edition of the Appeal, the first in over thirty years, Peter P. Hinks, the leading authority on David Walker, provides a masterly introduction and extensive annotations that incorporate the most up-to-date research on Walker, much of it first reported by Hinks in his highly acclaimed biography, To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren. Hinks also includes a unique appendix of documents showing the contemporary response—from North and South, black and white—to the Walker David Appeal itself and Walker’s attempts to distribute it in the South. Historians and political activists have long recognized the importance of Walker’s Appeal. At last we have an edition worthy of its persuasive immediacy and its enduring place in American history.

 

David Walker (September 28, 1796 – August 6, 1830) was an American abolitionist, writer, and anti-slavery activist. Though his father was enslaved, his mother was free; therefore, he was free as well (partus sequitur ventrem). In 1829, while living in Boston, Massachusetts, with the assistance of the African Grand Lodge (later named Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Jurisdiction of Massachusetts), he published An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, a call for black unity and a fight against slavery. The appeal brought attention to the abuses and inequities of slavery and the responsibility of individuals to act according to religious and political principles. At the time, some people were aghast and fearful of the reaction that the pamphlet would provoke. Southern citizens were particularly upset with Walker's viewpoints and as a result there were laws banning circulation of "seditious publications" and North Carolina "legislature enacted the most repressive measures ever passed in North Carolina to control slaves and free blacks." Historians and liberation theologians cite the Appeal as an influential political and social document of the 19th century. Walker exerted a radicalizing influence on the abolitionist movements of his day and inspired future black leaders and activists. His son, Edward G. Walker, was an attorney and in 1866 was one of the first two black men elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature. Peter P. Hinks teaches history and African American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of To Awaken My Afflicted Brethren: David Walker and the Problem of Antebellum Slave Resistance (Penn State, 1997), which was named a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book for 1998.

 

 

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Uwagba, Otegha. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods. London. 2020. 4th Estate. 9780008440428. 71 pages. paperback. 


9780008440428FROM THE PUBLISHER -

In this powerful and timely personal essay, best-selling author Otegha Uwagba reflects on racism, whiteness, and the mental labour required of Black people to navigate relationships with white people. Presented as a record of Uwagba's observations on this era-defining moment in history - that is, George Floyd's brutal murder and the subsequent protests and scrutiny of institutional racism - Whites explores the colossal burden of whiteness, as told by someone who is in her own words, 'a reluctant expert'. What is it like to endure both racism and white efforts at anti-racism, sometimes from the very same people? How do Black people navigate the gap between what they know to be true, and the version of events that white society can bring itself to tolerate? What does true allyship actually look like - and is it even possible? Addressing complex interracialUwagba Otegha dynamics and longstanding tensions with characteristically unflinching honesty, Uwagba deftly interrogates the status quo, and in doing so provides an intimate and deeply compelling portrayal of an unavoidable facet of the Black experience. 

 

 

Otegha Uwagba is the author of the Little Black Book: A Toolkit For Working Women published in 2017 and her highly anticipated part memoir, part cultural commentary We Need To Talk About Money is scheduled for publication in May 2021. She is also a speaker, brand consultant and founder of Women Who, a London-based multi-media platform aimed at creative women.

 

 

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Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones. Durham. 2008. Duke University Press. 9780822341161. 311 pages. paperback. Cover photograph - Claudia Jones in 1948. 


9780822341161FROM THE PUBLISHER -

In LEFT OF KARL MARX, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915-1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetary, to the left of Karl Marx - a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism. ‘Carole Boyce Davies has rendered a unique service in restoring to proper recognition the life and achievements of the Trinidad-born political activist and feminist Claudia Jones. From the turbulent struggles of Harlem, U.S.A. in the 1930s and 1940s to London in the 1950s and 1960s, Claudia Jones became a symbol of resistance and the standard by which others would measure their own integrity of commitment. LEFT OF KARL MARX is the biography of an era of the most intense ideological combat - where reputations were assassinated and careers erased by a single rumor of incorrect political affiliation. Here is the story of a singular triumph whose legacy has nourished the lives of another generation.’ - George Lamming, author of IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN and THE PLEASURES OF EXILE. . . ‘This book fills a lacuna in the historical understanding of black left radicalism and socialist-oriented feminism in the United States and the Caribbean. In this era of twenty-first-century corporate globalization, it reunites us with a transnational radical and anti-capitalist past through the examination of the extraordinary life, work, and political philosophy of Claudia Jones. This work reminds us that the U.S. and British radical traditions had diverse memberships, which included black, communist, and feminist women of whom Trinidad-born Claudia Jones was a remarkable example. Carole Boyce Davies has given us a well researched, detailed analysis of this communist, feminist, intellectual, activist, and artistic woman of Caribbean origin. This is a long-awaited treasure for which many will be eternalh grateful.’ - Rhoda E. Reddock, author of INTERROGATING CARIBBEAN MASCULINITIES. . . ‘Carole Boyce Davies has vividly brought to life the work and struggles of Claudia Jones in the U.S.A. and Great Britain in her new book, LEFT OF KARL MARX. Boyce Davies possesses that unique combination of being both a scholarly researcher and a writer capable of clear and persuasive language. The reader is presented with a remarkably readable and informative study of a woman who was equally adept in her writing and public speaking on feminism, and as a social pioneer, a political analyst, and an avowed adversary of racism. This book removes Claudia Jones from the shadow of the great bust of Marx to the front row of the black activists and thinkers of the twentieth century, and that is where she belongs.’ - Donald Hinds, author of JOURNEY TO AN ILLUSION: THE WEST INDIAN IN BRITAIN.

 

Davies Carole BoyceCarole Boyce Davies is a professor of English and Africana Studies. She has held distinguished professorships at a number of institutions, including the Herskovits Professor of African Studies and Professor of Comparative Literary Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994) and Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008). In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Boyce Davies has also published the following critical anthologies: Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla: Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); and a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women’s Writing (volume 1), and Black Women’s Diasporas (volume 2). She is co-editor with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho of The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (Indiana University Press, 1999) and Decolonizing the Academy: African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003). She is general editor of the three-volume, The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008), and of Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment: Autobiography, Essays, Poetry (Banbury: Ayebia, 2011). Her most recent monograph is Caribbean Spaces: Escape Routes from Twilight Zones (Illinois, 2013) and a children’s book, Walking (EducaVision, 2016).

 

 

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Dumas, Henry. Jonoah & the Green Stone. New York. 1976. Random House. 0394497910. 170 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Mike Stromberg. 

0394497910FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Henry Dumas was a first-rate writer with first-order intelligence. The publication of his short stories, ARK OF BONES, and poetry, PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, was received with spectacular acclaim. Now a novel has been discovered that will satisfy the appetites whetted by these earlier works. JONOAH AND THE GREEN STONE is a story about what it was like for a young Black man from Arkansas to deal with the turbulence of the sixties. Beginning in 1938, floating on a johnnyboat in the middle of a Mississippi flood that has just orphaned him, the narrator takes us on a journey of a man hunted down in cane fields and haunted by his own conscience - until finally, once again, he finds himself on the Mississippi River, certain he is going to die. JONOAH AND THE GREEN STONE was in draft at the time of Dumas’ Dumas Henry death, but even in that stage (and with help from Eugene Redmond) it is the most haunting, the most beautiful, the most moving piece of fiction published in a long, long time. Dumas’ talent has that rare ingredient: authority.

 

HENRY DUMAS, a prize-winning writer, was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, on July 20, 1934, and moved to New York City when he was ten years old. His life was ended abruptly on May 23, 1968, by bullets from the gun of a New York Transit policeman in the subway. Reasons for the killing have remained vague and unsatisfactory. Before his death Dumas had been active on the ‘little’ magazine circuit as well as in the initial opening scene of the Black Arts Movement, publishing his stories and poems in Negro Digest/Black World, Rutgers’ Anthologist, the Hiram Poetry Review, Umbra and Black Fire. Since his death his reputation and writings have attracted a large and international community of readers. On the heels of the publication of ARK OF BONES AND OTHER STORIES and PLAY EBONY PLAY IVORY, writers, artists and students gathered in several largely Black areas of the country to read from the works and proclaim the genius of Dumas. Among the anthologies and periodicals which have printed his work since his death are: Black Scholar, Essence, Brothers and Sisters, Confrontation, Galaxy of Black Writing, You Better Believe it, Open Poetry and Giant Talk: An Anthology of Third World Writings. Just before his death, Dumas was employed by Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis. His widow, Loretta Dumas, and his sons, David and Michael, make their home in Willingboro, New Jersey.  

 

 

 

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Jeffers, Honoree Fanonne. The Age of Phillis. Middletown. 2000. Wesleyan University Press. 9780819579492. 215 pages. hardcover. Front cover illustration by Saneyah Q. James, 2014.

 

9780819579492FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Poems that imagine the life and times of Phillis Wheatley. In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry that challenged Western prejudices about African and female intellectual capabilities. Based on fifteen years of archival research, The Age of Phillis, by award-winning writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, imagines the life and times of Wheatley: her childhood in the Gambia, West Africa, her life with her white American owners, her friendship with Obour Tanner, and her marriage to the enigmatic John Peters. Woven throughout are poems about Wheatley's "age"―the era that encompassed political, philosophical, and religious upheaval, as well as the transatlantic slave trade. For the first time in verse, Wheatley's relationship to black people and their individual "mercies" is foregrounded, and here we see her as not simply a racial or literary symbol, but a human being who lived and loved while making her indelible mark on history.

Jeffers Honoree Fanonne

HONOREE FANONNE JEFFERS lives in Talladega, Alabama. Her poetry has been published in the anthologies AT OUR CORE: WOMEN WRITING ABOUT POWER; DARK EROS; and IDENTITY LESSONS. She has also published poems in Crab Orchard Review; African American Review; Callaloo; Poet Lore; Brilliant Corners; and The Massachusetts Review.

 

 

 

 

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The Writings Of W. E. B. Du Bois  by W. E. B. Du Bois. New York. 1975. Thomas Y Crowell. 299 pages. hardcover. 0690004621. Jacket by Andrew Rhodes.

0690004621FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Here is the powerful testimony of one of America’s greatest black spokesmen, W. E. B. Du Bois. Newbery-award winner Virginia Hamilton is the author of a comprehensive biography of Du Bois. Now she has edited a representative selection of his essays, articles, speeches, and excerpts from his other writings, to which she has added her own pertinent introductions. Revealed here in an extraordinary range covering seventy years of his long, productive life, W. E. B. Du Bois speaks to blacks and whites alike. A controversial political figure and activist, he was a founder of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, The Crisis magazine, and the Pan-African Movement. Du Bois here voices his protest against slavery, segregation, racial inequality, and oppression of blacks. He discusses children and women’s suffrage, education and progress, socialism and black self-sufficiency. Seeing himself as both unique and part of a vast problem, he eloquently describes his early years, researches, and teaching experiences, as well as his trial and acquittal, his travels to Russia and China, and the final meaning of his accomplishments to futureDu Bois W E B generations. The life and works of this distinguished man have been much honored since his death in Ghana, Africa, in 1963. This book will provide the reader with rewarding insights into the prophetic thought and philosophy of W. E. B. Du Bois.

 

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was internationally renowned as a writer, scholar, and activist. Among his published works are THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLKS, JOHN BROWN, and BLACK RECONSTRUCTION: AN ESSAY TOWARD A HISTORY OF THE PART WHICH BLACK FOLK PLAYED IN THE ATTEMPT TO RECONSTRUCT DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, 1860—1880. He also wrote other major fiction, including DARK PRINCESS.

 

 

 

 

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The Trials Of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet & Her Encounters With The Founding Fathers by Henry Louis Gates Jr. New York. 2003. Basic Civitas Books. 129 pages. Jacket photograph by Jared Leeds. Jacket design by Rick Pracher. 0465027296. April 2003.

0465027296FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   A moving celebration of the mother of African American literature, from the pen of a master storyteller and scholar. The slave Phillis Wheatley literally wrote her way to freedom when, in 1773, she became the first person of African descent to publish a book of poems in the English language. The toast of London, lauded by Europeans as diverse as Voltaire and Gibbon, Wheatley was for a time the most famous black woman in the West. Though Benjamin Franklin received her and George Washington thanked her for poems she dedicated to him, Thomas Jefferson refused to acknowledge her gifts. 'Religion, indeed, has produced a Phillis Wheatley,' he wrote, 'but it could not produce a poet. ' In other words, slaves have misery in their lives, and they have souls, but they lack the intellectual and aesthetic endowments required to create literature. In this book based on his 2002 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Library of Congress, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. , explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson have played in shaping the black literary tradition. He brings to life the characters and debates that fermented around Wheatley in her day and illustrates the peculiar history that resulted in Thomas Jefferson's being lauded as a father of the black freedom struggle and Phillis Wheatley's vilification as something of an Uncle Tom. It is a story told with all the lyricism and critical skill that have placed Gates at the forefront of American letters.

Gates Jr Henry Louis

Henry Louis ‘Skip’ Gates, Jr., (born September 16, 1950) is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, and editor. He was the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards for his teaching, research, and development of academic institutions to study black culture. In 2002, Gates was selected to give the Jefferson Lecture, in recognition of his ‘distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.’ Gates has hosted several PBS television miniseries, including the history and travel program Wonders of the African World and the biographical African American Lives and Faces of America. Gates sits on the boards of many notable arts, cultural, and research institutions. He serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

 

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Complete Writings by Phillis Wheatley. New York. 2001. Penguin Books. Edited & With An Introduction and Notes By Vincent Carretta. 9780140424300, 224 pages. Cover art - engraving of Phillis Wheatley, reproduced from 'Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral', London.

9780140424300FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   Destined to become the first published woman of African descent, Phillis Wheatley was born around 1753. She was taken by the slave ship PHILLIS to Boston in 1761 and bought by John and Susanna Wheatley. The Wheatleys provided her with an education that was unusual for a woman of the time and astonishing for a slave. Phillis published her first poem in 1767, around the age of fourteen, and won much public attention and considerable international fam before she was twenty years old. ‘Vincent Carretta’s edition of the works of Phillis Wheatley is the definitive collection of her work. Expertly edited, it is a masterpiece of textual scholarship. ’ – Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Wheatley Phillis

Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753 – December 5, 1784) was both the second published African-American poet and first published African-American woman. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write, and encouraged her poetry when they saw her talent. The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies; figures such as George Washington praised her work. During Wheatley's visit to England with her master's son, the African-American poet Jupiter Hammon praised her work in his own poem. Wheatley was emancipated after the death of her master John Wheatley. She married soon after. Two of her children died as infants. After her husband was imprisoned for debt in 1784, Wheatley fell into poverty and died of illness, quickly followed by the death of her surviving infant son.

 

 

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Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius In Bondage by Vincent Carretta. Athens. 2011. University Of Georgia Press. 279 pages. hardcover. 9780820333380. Jacket image: Mindy Basinger Hill. Jacket illustration: Engraving of Phillis Wheatley, Scipio Moorhead.

9780820333380FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   With POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, RELIGIOUS AND MORAL (1773), Phillis Wheatley (1753?–1784) became the first English-speaking person of African descent to publish a book and only the second woman - of any race or background - to do so in America. Written in Boston while she was just a teenager, and when she was still a slave, Wheatley’s work was an international sensation. In PHILLIS WHEATLEY, Vincent Carretta offers the first full-length biography of a figure whose origins and later life have remained shadowy despite her iconic status. A scholar with extensive knowledge of transatlantic literature and history, Carretta uncovers new details about Wheatley’s origins, her upbringing, and how she gained freedom. Carretta solves the mystery of John Peters, correcting the record of when he and Wheatley married and revealing what became of him after her death. Assessing Wheatley’s entire body of work, Carretta discusses the likely role she played in the production, marketing, and distribution of her writing. Wheatley developed a remarkable transatlantic network that transcended racial, class, political, religious, and geographical boundaries. Carretta reconstructs that network and sheds new light on her religious and political identities. In the course of his research he discovered the earliest poem attributable to Wheatley and has included it and other unpublished poems in the biography. Carretta relocates Wheatley from the margins to the center of her eighteenth-century transatlantic world, revealing the fascinating life of a woman who rose from theCarretta Vincent indignity of enslavement to earn wide recognition, only to die in obscurity a few years later.

 

Vincent Carretta is a professor of English at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of more than ten books, including scholarly editions of the writings of Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Ignatius Sancho, and Ottobah Cugoano. His most recent books are EQUIANO, THE AFRICAN: BIOGRAPHY OF A SELF-MADE MAN, winner of the Annibel Jenkins Prize, and THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF PHILIP QUAQUE, THE FIRST AFRICAN ANGLICAN MISSIONARY, coedited with Ty M. Reese.

 

 

 

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Eurocentrism by Samir Amin. New York. 1989. Monthly Review Press. hardcover. 152 pages. Translated from the French by Russell More. 0853457867.

 

0853457867FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Since its first publication twenty years ago, Eurocentrism has become a classic of radical thought. Written by one of the world's foremost political economists, this original and provocative essay takes on one of the great 'ideological deformations' of our time: Eurocentrism. Rejecting the dominant Eurocentric view of world history, which narrowly and incorrectly posits a progression from the Greek and Roman classical world to Christian feudalism and the European capitalist system, Amin presents a sweeping reinterpretation that emphasizes the crucial historical role played by the Arab Islamic world. Throughout the work, Amin addresses a broad set of concerns, ranging from the ideological nature of scholastic metaphysics to the meanings and shortcomings of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism.

 

 

 

Amin SamirSamir Amin was born in Cairo, the son of two doctors, his father Egyptian and his mother French. He lived in Port Said in northern Egypt and attended the French lycée there, receiving his baccalaureate in 1947. Amin then enrolled at the Lycée Henri IV in Paris to study mathematics and at the Institut d’études Politiques to study law, which at the time was the way to study economics. He received a diploma in political science in 1952 and a license in law and economics in 1953 and then opted to pursue a doctorate in economics. He also obtained a diploma in statistics from the Institut de Statistiques de L’université de Paris in 1956. In June 1957, Amin received a doctorate in economics under the direction of Maurice Byé and with the additional guidance of François Perroux. As a student, Amin spent much of his time as a militant with various student movements and from 1949 to 1953 helped publish the journal Étudiants Anticolonialistes, through which he met many of the future members of Africa’s governing elite. From 1957 to 1960, Amin worked in Cairo on economic development issues for the Egyptian government, then moved to Bamako, Mali, where he was an adviser to the Malian planning ministry (1960-1963). In 1963 he moved to Dakar, Senegal, where he took a fellowship (1963-1970) at the Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planification (IDEP). He became a director at IDEP (1970-1980) and subsequently was named director of the Third World Forum (1980–). Amin has at various times held professorships in Poitiers, Dakar, and Paris. The author of more than thirty books, Amin’s brilliant 1957 dissertation, subsequently published in 1970 as L’accumulation à l’échelle mondiale; critique de la théorie dusous-développement (translated in 1974 as Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment ), was the earliest significant work to argue that underdevel-opment in much of the world was a direct consequence of the way the capitalist economy functions. He argued that this polarization is due to transfers of profits from the poor countries to the rich, which help alleviate potential under-consumptionist problems in the industrial economies, allowing the industrial world to pay higher salaries or offer lower prices to consumers than would be possible were the labor theory of value to work simply at the national level. Amin’s new emphasis on the global economy as a unit of analysis is intended to explain global salary and price differences within a Marxist labor theory of value. Even his later works (e.g. Obsolescent Capitalism and Beyond U.S. Hegemony ) have built on this model to critique imperialist projects generally and post–September 11, 2001 U.S. hegemonic efforts more particularly. Amin argues for a polycentric world that can counteract monopolies in areas such as technology, finance, natural resources, media, and weapons production that consistently hurt poor countries. Amin’s reliance on a labor theory of value and underconsumptionist theory has limited his analytical outlook and led him to make overly simplistic predictions even as it has allowed a holistic historical materialistic perspective. Nevertheless, his criticisms of neoclassical equilibrium models and imperialistic projects have long since been joined by those of economists and social scientists from many different theoretical persuasions. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Painter, Nell Irvin. Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919. New York. 1987. Norton. 1st Printing. 0393024059. 402 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Karl Steinbrenner. 


0393024059FROM THE PUBLISHER -

This provocative interpretive history focuses on the disputes that consumed Americans as they traded the anxieties and challenges of a mostly rural, agrarian society for those of an industrial culture. These years of dynamic growth and technological progress were punctuated by crises that genera ted unemployment, strikes, and violence, bankrupted businesses, swallowed up profits, and injected class conflict into politics and reform. Primarily a work of narrative political history, this book also devotes a great deal of attention to labor history in the belief that the demand for reform that dominated political debate sprang from the organized ranks of working people whose frustrations and anger inspired fear in the middle and upper classes. At the turn of the twentieth century, this apprehension produced both the reforms that softened the injuries of class and the rationalization of production that increased employers’ control over workers. While the most sensational clashes occurred between economic classes, conflicts Concerning the appropriate rights of minorities, women, and neighboring countries also figure in STANDING AT ARMAGEDDON.

 

Painter Nell IrvinNell Irvin Painter (born Nell Irvin, 1942) is an American historian notable for her works on southern history of the nineteenth century. She is retired from Princeton University, and served as president of the Organization of American Historians. She also served as president of the Southern Historical Association. She was born Nell Irvin to Dona and Frank E. Irvin, Sr. She had an older brother Frank who died young. Her family moved from Houston, Texas, to Oakland, California when she was ten weeks old. This was part of the second wave of the Great Migration of millions of African Americans from the Deep South to urban centers. Some of their relatives had been in California since the 1920s. The Irvins went to California in the 1940s with the pull of increasing jobs in the defense industry. Nell attended the Oakland Public Schools. Her mother Dona Irvin held a degree from Houston College for Negroes (1937), and later taught in the public schools of Oakland. Her father had to drop out of college in 1937 during the Great Depression; he eventually trained for work as a laboratory technician. He worked for years at the University of California at Berkeley, where he trained many students in lab techniques. Painter earned her B.A. - Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. During her undergraduate years, she studied French medieval history at the University of Bordeaux, France, 1962–63. She also studied abroad at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, 1965–66. In 1967, she completed an M.A. at the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1974, she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University. She returned to study and earned a B.F.A. at Rutgers University in 2009. Painter has received honorary degrees from Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, and Yale University, among other institutions.

 

 

 

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Horne, Gerald. The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. New York. 2014. New York University Press. 9781479893409. 349 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Erin Kirk New. 

 

9781479893409FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Ida B. Wells and Cheikh Anta Diop Award Recipient for Outstanding Scholarship and Leadership in Africana Studies. The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity.  But the Africans then living in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with the British.  In this trailblazing book, Gerald Horne shows that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt. Prior to 1776, anti-slavery sentiments were deepening throughout Britain and in the Caribbean, rebellious Africans were in revolt.  For European colonists in America, the major threat to their security was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. It was a real and threatening possibility that London would impose abolition throughout the colonies—a possibility the founding fathers feared would bring slave rebellions to their shores.  To forestall it, they went to war. The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their right to enslave others. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 brings us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States. REVIEWS: "With The Counter-Revolution of 1776, Gerald Horne refigures the origins of the American ‘revolution’ to offer a challenging and potentially explosive critique of foundational myths of liberty and rebellion.” —American Historical Review. "Gerald Horne’s Counter Revolution of 1776 is a critical contribution in the struggle for clarity around one of the most misconceived periods of history….Horne’s work provides the vast historical narrative that proves how this premise is false.  He centers his analysis on the inherently counter-revolutionary nature of what led to the colonists desire for succession.” —Black Agenda Report. “Gerald Horne’s The Counter-Revolution of 1776 strikingly places the American founding in its international setting and emphasizes that the slave-owning South seceded from the Crown in a foreshadowing of the Civil War.” —The Journal of American History. “[…] The Counter-Revolution of 1776 remains a fine addition to the radical history of colonial America and a welcome counterpoint to studies of black loyalists. […] [Horne’s] documentation is impressive and effective, and it offers a gold mine of references for future works on slave resistance.”  —Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. “Gerald Horne’s The Counter-Revolution of 1776 focuses on the motives of opponents and advocates of the international slave trade leading up to the Declaration of Independence by colonial subjects of the British Crown in 1776. Horne challenges the mainstream notions that colonists rebelled against the Crown merely due to dissatisfaction with imperial control and the issue of ‘taxation without representation.’” —Journal of African American Journal. “This study is a powerful statement on the American Revolution. The quickening pace of his publishing is astonishing, and his style is always lean and vigorous.” —Historian. “Few historians dare range over the entire expanse of a nation’s past, but in this book Gerald Horne aims to do just that… This study is a powerful statement on the American Revolution. The quickening pace of his publishing is astonishing, and his style is always lean and vigorous.” —The Historian. “The Counter-Revolution of 1776 is a challenging contribution to the debate about the American Revolution and a valuable addition to Horne’s previous book on African American-British alliances before the Civil War.” —American Studies. "Horne, Moores Professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Houston, confidently and convincingly reconstructs the origin myth of the United States grounded in the context of slavery . . . . Horne’s study is rich, not dry; his research is meticulous, thorough, fascinating, and thought-provoking. Horne emphasizes the importance of considering this alternate telling of our American origin myth and how such a founding still affects our nation today." —STARRED Publishers Weekly. "Horne returns with insights about the American Revolution that fracture even more some comforting myths about the Founding Fathers. The author does not tiptoe through history’s grassy fields; he swings a scythe . . . . Clear and sometimes-passionate prose shows us the persistent nastiness underlying our founding narrative." —Kirkus. “Horne holds a distinctive view of watershed historical dates. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 brought political order to Britain and encouraged free trade. This facilitated massive slave imports into the American colonies, destabilizing colonial societies with the specter of racial conflicts and rebellious slaves allied with foreign invaders. Horne also asserts the less-familiar importance of 1772. That year's landmark Somerset decision by Lord Mansfield effectively banned slavery in England, signaling a trend in favor of rights for Africans. In June 1772, Rhode Islanders defied imperial authority by burning HMS Gaspee. Colonists' determination to continue profiting from ‘the slavery trade’ ultimately led to independence, but 1776 was partly a counterrevolution against London's nascent antislavery sentiment. This narrative is often about white anxieties in Britain, the Caribbean, and North America. Readers seldom hear the voices of free and unfree Africans, though their actions (flight, rebellion, everyday resistance) speak clearly enough. Horne's interpretation emphasizes material factors over political philosophy and ideas in general. It directly challenges conventional views of the American Revolution but, based on extensive evidence, deserves close reading.  Summing Up: Recommended.” —Choice. "In The Counter Revolution of 1776, Horne marshals considerable research to paint a picture of a U.S. that wasn’t founded on liberty, with slavery as an uncomfortable and aberrant remnant of a pre-Enlightenment past, but rather was founded on slavery — as a defense of slavery — with the language of liberty and equality used as window dressing. If he’s right, in other words, then the traditional narrative of the creation of the U.S. is almost completely wrong." —Salon.com. "The Counter Revolution of 1776 drives us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States." —Philadelphia Tribune. "The underlying truth of the 'so-called' American Revolution is finally now out of the bag, and told in its fullest glory for the first time here. And what Professor Horne has discovered through meticulous research is nothing short of revolutionary in itself." —OpEdNews. "Every person committed to the struggle for racial justice, liberation, and equality, and who struggles every day with the difficulties of forging unity between Black and white, needs to read this book." —Portside.org. "History books have painted a narrative of the U.S. founding that any student can recite: Colonists, straining against the tyranny of the British crown, revolted in the name of freedom, liberty and justice for all. But in recent years, historians have revisited that conventional story, examining the important role slaves played for Britain in its quest to quell colonists. Now, in a new book, historian Gerald Horne argues it was the desire to maintain slavery that was the prime motivator of the uprising . . . . Horne revisit[s] the period leading up to 1776 to find out how slavery in North America and the British colonies influenced the revolution." —The Kojo Nnamdi Show, DC Public Radio. "Historian Horne makes the case that the War for Independence was in fact a conservative counter-revolution that sought to preserve slavery in North America."  —In These Times. "The Counter-Revolution of 1776 asks us to rethink the fundamental narrative of American history and to interrogate nationalist myths.  Horne demands that historians consider slavery not as the exception to the republican promise of the American Revolution but rather as the norm insofar as protecting slavery was a fundamental cause of colonial revolt." —The New England Quarterly. “If the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the sixties had had the benefit of Horne’s book, The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, the foundation and the articulation of our movement would have been radically different. Instead of resting our outrage on mere violations of the letter of the Constitution, per se, we could have vastly enlarged our argument.” —Teaching for Change. "In a refreshing take on the independence movement, Horne places slavery and its expansion in North American during the early eighteenth century at the center if the conflict between London and its increasingly nervous and truculent colonies across the Atlantic . . . . This is an important book for both its novelty in a crowded field and its implications . . . . Eminently readable, this is a book that should be on any undergraduate reading list and deserves to be taken very seriously in the ongoing discussion as to the American republic's origins." —The American Historical Review. "[I]t is Horne's book that has the most to teach about the complex intersections of race, class, religion, and ethnicity." —Cambridge Humanities Review. "This utterly original book argues that story of the American Revolution has been told without a major piece of the puzzle in place. The rise of slavery and the British empire created a pattern of imperial war, slave resistance, and arming of slaves that led to instability and, ultimately, an embrace of independence. Horne integrates the British West Indies, Florida, and the entire colonial period with recent work on the Carolinas and Virginia; the result is a larger synthesis that puts slave-based profits and slave restiveness front and center. The Americans re-emerge not just as anti-colonial free traders but as particularly devoted to an emerging color line and to their control over the future of a slavery based economy. AHorne Gerald remarkable and important contribution to our understanding of the creation of the United States." —David Waldstreicher, Temple University. "The Counter-Revolution of 1776 shows the centrality of slavery in colonial American life, north as well as south. It demonstrates how enslaved people’s  struggles merged with international and imperial politics as the British empire frayed. Gerald Horne finds among white American revolutionaries people who wanted to defend slavery against real threats. He addresses how in the United States, alone among the new western hemisphere republics, slavery thrived rather than waned, until its cataclysmic destruction during the Civil War." —Edward Countryman, Southern Methodist University.  "Nearly everything about Gerald Home’s lively The Counter-Revolution of 1776—from the questions asked to the comparisons drawn—is provocative. And if Professor Home is right, nearly everything American historians thought we knew about the birth of the nation is wrong."  —Woody Holton, author of Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia.

 

Gerald Horne is John J. and Rebecca Moores Professor of African American History at the University of Houston. He is the author of more than two dozen books, including Race to Revolution, The Counter-Revolution of 1776, and Negro Comrades of the Crown.

 

 

 

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Darkness by Bharati Mukherjee. New York. 1985.  Penguin Books. 0140079300. Paperback Original.  208 pages. 

 

0140079300FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

At once sly and tragic, these twelve extraordinary stories chart the complex and shifting lives of the new immigrants to America - some helpless, some hopeless, others ambitious, beautiful, all striving for something they can't quite name, something more.... 'Mukherjee writes with beautiful precision...neaty needlepointing a malevolent world.' THE VILLAGE VOICE An early collection of acclaimed short stories by the award-winning author of The Middleman and Other Stories (which won the National Book Critics Award for Fiction). Mukherjee brilliantly illuminates the complex and shifting lives of America's new immigrants in these 12 stories.

 

 

Mukherjee BharatiBharati Mukherjee (July 27, 1940 – January 28, 2017) was an American writer and professor emerita in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Of Bengali origin, Mukherjee was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She later travelled with her parents to Europe after Independence, only returning to Calcutta in the early 1950s. There she attended the Loreto School. She received her B.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1959 as a student of Loreto College, and subsequently earned her M.A. from the University of Baroda in 1961. She next travelled to the United States to study at the University of Iowa. She received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1963 and her Ph.D. in 1969 from the department of Comparative Literature. After more than a decade living in Montreal and Toronto in Canada, Mukherjee and her husband, Clark Blaise returned to the United States. She wrote of the decision in "An Invisible Woman," published in a 1981 issue of Saturday Night. Mukherjee and Blaise co-authored Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977). They also wrote the 1987 work, The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (Air India Flight 182). In addition to writing numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, Mukherjee taught at McGill University, Skidmore College, Queens College, and City University of New York before joining Berkeley.Bharati Mukherjee (July 27, 1940 – January 28, 2017) was an American writer and professor emerita in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Of Bengali origin, Mukherjee was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She later travelled with her parents to Europe after Independence, only returning to Calcutta in the early 1950s. There she attended the Loreto School. She received her B.A. from the University of Calcutta in 1959 as a student of Loreto College, and subsequently earned her M.A. from the University of Baroda in 1961. She next travelled to the United States to study at the University of Iowa. She received her M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1963 and her Ph.D. in 1969 from the department of Comparative Literature. After more than a decade living in Montreal and Toronto in Canada, Mukherjee and her husband, Clark Blaise returned to the United States. She wrote of the decision in "An Invisible Woman," published in a 1981 issue of Saturday Night. Mukherjee and Blaise co-authored Days and Nights in Calcutta (1977). They also wrote the 1987 work, The Sorrow and the Terror: The Haunting Legacy of the Air India Tragedy (Air India Flight 182). In addition to writing numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, Mukherjee taught at McGill University, Skidmore College, Queens College, and City University of New York before joining Berkeley. Mukherjee has gone on record that she considers herself an American writer, and not an Indian expatriate writer. In a 1989 interview with Ameena Meer, Mukherjee said: "I totally consider myself an American writer, and that has been my big battle: to get to realize that my roots as a writer are no longer, if they ever were, among Indian writers, but that I am writing about the territory about the feelings, of a new kind of pioneer here in America. I’m the first among Asian immigrants to be making this distinction between immigrant writing and expatriate writing. Most Indian writers prior to this, have still thought of themselves as Indians, and their literary inspiration, has come from India. India has been the source, and home. Whereas I’m saying, those are wonderful roots, but now my roots are here and my emotions are here in North America."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Saint Of Incipient Insanities by Elif Shafak. New York. 2004. Farrar Straus Giroux. 0374253579.  353 pages. hardcover. Cover design by Charlotte Strick. 

 

0374253579FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

THE SAINT OF INCIPIENT INSANITIES is the comic and heartbreaking story of a group of twenty-something friends, and their never-ending quest for fulfillment. Omer, Abed and Piyu are roommates, foreigners all recently arrived in the United States. Omer, from Istanbul, is a Ph.D. student in political science who adapts quickly to his new home, and falls in love with the bisexual, suicidal, intellectual chocolate maker Gail. Gail is American yet feels utterly displaced in her homeland and moves from one obsession to another in an effort to find solid ground. Abed pursues a degree in biotechnology, worries about Omer’s unruly ways, his mother’s unexpected visit, and stereotypes of Arabs in America; he struggles to maintain a connection with his girlfriend back home in Morocco. Piyu is a Spaniard, who is studying to be a dentist in spite of his fear of sharp objects, and is baffled by the many relatives of his Mexican-American girlfriend, Algre, and in many ways by Algre herself. Keenly insightful and sharply humorous, THE SAINT OF INCIPIENT INSANITIES is a vibrant exploration of love, friendship, culture, nationality, exile and belonging.

 

 

Shafak ElifElif Safak (or Shafak, born 25 October 1971, Strasbourg, France) is an outspoken Turkish author, columnist, speaker and academic. ‘As Turkey's bestselling female writer, Shafak is a brave champion of cosmopolitanism, a sophisticated feminist, and an ambitious novelist who infuses her magical-realist fiction with big, important ideas...’.Critics have named her as ‘one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Turkish and world literature’. Her books have been published in more than 40 countries, and she was awarded the honorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2010. Shafak has published thirteen books, nine of which are novels. She writes fiction in both Turkish and English. Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the myriad stories of women, minorities, immigrants, subcultures, youth and global souls. Her writing draws on diverse cultures and literary traditions, reflecting a deep interest in history, philosophy, Sufism, oral culture, and cultural politics. Shafak also has a keen eye for black humour, with ‘a particular genius for depicting backstreet Istanbul.’

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerzina, Gretchen. Black London: Life Before Emancipation. New Brunswick. 1995. Rutgers University Press. 0813522595. 244 pages. hardcover. Front Jacket Illustration: Dido And Lady Elizabeth Finch Hatton From a Portrait By Johann Zoffany. Back Jacket Illustration: Medallion of black slave by Josiah Wedgwood. Jacket Design: William Webb.

 

0813522595FROM THE PUBLISHER -

The idea that Britain became a mixed-race country only after 1945 is a common mistake. Even in Shakespeare’s England black people were numerous enough for Queen Elizabeth to demand they all leave. She was, perhaps, the first to fear that whites would lose their jobs, yet her edict was ignored without ill effects. In BLACK LONDON, Gretchen Gerzina shows how by the eighteenth century the work of all kinds of artists - Hogarth, Reynolds, Gillray, Rowlandson - as well as work by poets, playwrights and novelists, reveals to sharp eyes that not everyone in that elegant, vigorous, earthy world was white. In fact there were black pubs and clubs, balls for blacks only, black churches, and organizations for helping blacks out of work or in trouble. Many blacks were prosperous and respected: George Bridgtower was a concert violinist who knew Beethoven; Ignatius Sancho corresponded with Laurence Sterne; Francis Williams studied at Cambridge. Others, like Jack Beef, were successful stewards or men of business. But many more were servants or beggars, some turning to prostitution or theft. Alongside the free black world was slavery, from which many of these people escaped. In particular, it was the business of kidnapping blacks for export to the West Indies that made Granville Sharp an abolitionist and brought the celebrated Somerset case before Lord Justice Mansfield. Those men are now heroes of human rights, yet Sharp probably did not believe in racial equality; and Mansfield, whose own much-loved great-niece was black, was so worried about property rights that he did all he could to avoid a judgment that would set blacks free. The ties and conflicts of black and white in England, often cruel, often moving, were also complex and surprising. This book presents a fascinating chapter of history and one long inGerzina Gretchen need of exploration.

 


GRETCHEN GERZINA teaches at Vassar College, New York. Of her last book, a life of the painter Dora Carrington, The Times of London wrote ‘fascinating’ and the New Statesman ‘a heady story . . . fascinating, psychologically sympathetic and well researched.’

 

 

 

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Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra. New York. 2017. Farrar Straus Giroux. 9780374274788. 406 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jason Heuer.

 

9780374274788FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis. How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises―of freedom, stability, and prosperity―were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world―or were left, or pushed, behind―reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose―angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity―with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.

 

 

Mishra PankajPankaj Mishra born 1969 in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh (North India), is an Indian essayist and novelist. He is particularly notable for his book BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA, a sociological study of small-town India, and his writing for the New York Review of Books. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Allahabad University before earning his Master of Arts degree in English literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He was the Visiting Fellow for 2007-2008 at the Department of English, University College London, UK. In 1992, he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper The Pioneer. His first book was BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA: TRAVELS IN SMALL TOWN INDIA (1995), a travelogue that described the social and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization. His novel The ROMANTICS (2000), an ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His recent book AN END TO SUFFERING: THE BUDDHA IN THE WORLD (2004) mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN AND BEYOND (2006), describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia. In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of writing on India, INDIA IN MIND (Vintage). His writings have been anthologized in THE PICADOR BOOK OF JOURNEYS (2000), THE VINTAGE BOOK OF MODERN INDIAN LITERATURE (2004), and AWAY: THE INDIAN WRITER AS EXPATRIATE (Penguin), among other titles. He has introduced new editions of Rudyard Kipling's KIM (Modern Library), E. M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA (Penguin Classics), and J. G. Farrell's THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR (NYRB Classics). He has also introduced two volumes of V. S. Naipaul's essays: THE WRITER AND THE WORLD AND LITERARY OCCASIONS. Mishra writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and New Statesman, among other American, British, and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Common Knowledge, the Financial Times, Granta, The Independent, the London Review of Books, n+1, The Nation, Outlook, Poetry, Time, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, and The Washington Post. He divides his time between London and India, and is presently working on a novel. His book TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN, TIBET AND BEYOND was reviewed by The Economist (1–7 July 2006 issue). In 2008 he was one of the first authors to take part in the Palestine Festival of Literature. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008..

 

 

 

 

 

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The Emigrants by George Lamming. New York. 1954. McGraw Hill. 282 pages. Jacket design by Denis Williams.

 

emigrants mcgraw hill 1954FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   ELIZABETH JENNINGS, writing in The Spectator, said of George Lamming's latest work: 'It is not often that a book of the power and scope of THE EMIGRANTS comes the way of the reviewer. I would say unreservedly that this is one of the finest pieces of prose literature that I have come across for a long time. ' THE EMIGRANTS begins in a sense where Mr. Lamming's first prose narrative, IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN, left off. The emigrants are a group of West Indians who have set out for England in a blind search for a 'better break. ' In three sections -- 'A Voyage,' 'Rooms and Residents,' and 'Another Time' -- Mr. Lamming describes their voyage over and their settlement in the mother country. He shows us the small world of the emigrants, torn loose from their native moorings, within the larger world of England. Writing lyrically and with imagination, he reveals their aspirations and doubts, their bewilderment and lonely isolation as they seek to find roots in an unfamiliar society whose complex terms elude them. Perhaps never before in recent literature has the feeling of lack of contact between human beings been so sensitively and beautifully evoked as in this book. In exploring his theme, Mr. Lamming has again made brilliant use of the richness of the English language. Combining dramatic dialogue with passages of dialect, wit, and pure poetic description, he has created a story of great poignancy and power. Above everything else THE EMIGRANTS is a Lamming George stirring statement about man's life and the human condition. To read it is to recognize that George Lamming is a writer of unusual talent, an innovator who has full command of his style and is breaking new ground in his writing.

 

GEORGE LAMMING was born of mixed African and English parentage in Barbados, British West Indies, in 1927. After leaving school he taught French and English for four years at a boarding school in Trinidad. He went to England in 1950, and for some months worked in various factories in the London area. In 1951 he began to broadcast a weekly program of reviews of books and films on the B. B. C. 's Colonial Service. His poems have been broadcast over B. B. C. and published in British and West Indian magazines. IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN was Mr. Lamming's first prose work.

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Corregidora by Gayl Jones. New York. 1975. Random House. 186 pages. March 1975. hardcover. 0394493230. Jacket design by Wendell Minor.

 

0394493230FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Ursa Corregidora is lucky. She can sing her terror and her longing in a Kentucky café. She is less helpless then, and less bedeviled. But there is no song to numb her - to help her forget that the fruits of her marriage were violence and sterility; that she cannot live up to the single responsibility demanded of her by the three generations of Corregidora women who preceded her: to ‘make generations’; to keep the corruption of their line intact. There is no song anywhere in the world that can help her forget Corregidora, the Portuguese who fathered his own slaves, his own concubines, his own prostitutes. Ursa is the last of these women, the only one of the line with a different father. And now her past, in which lust and hatred walked arm in arm, is indistinguishable from a present clouded with lovelessness and despair. For there is an uneasy similarity between Corregidora, Ursa’s demonic white ancestor, and the Black men who ‘love’ her. From a nineteenth-century Brazilian plantation to Bracktown, Kentucky, author Gayl Jones takes us on a strange journey: that of a Black woman trying to come to terms with womanhood in a haunted world, and managing at last to avenge not only Corregidora’s women but every abused Black woman that ever lived. This is a chilling story written with almost embarrassing power. ‘Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of Jones Gaylwhat has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women.’ —James Baldwin.

 

 

 

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught a Wellesley College and the University of Michigan. Her other books include THE HEALING (1998 National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and many others.

 

 

 

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Eva's Man by Gayl Jones. New York. 1976. Random House. 179 pages. March 1976. hardcover. 0394499344. Jacket design and illustration by Wendell Minor.

 

0394499344FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Sitting in a prison cell—talking to a cellmate, a psychiatrist, herself, us - Eva Medina Canada is trying to remember it all, to keep memory separate from fantasy. But it is not easy. For a woman with no man and no money has to live in the streets, and there men treat you like a street-woman. There, rankness is the norm and male assumptions are devastatingly raw. Every look, whisper, shout and touch is a violent sexual attack. It is a world where access to a comb, a telephone can become the ultimate symbol of civilization and of human caring. And even before the streets, when Eva was just a child, there was the casual male cruelty of Mr. Logan in the stairwell, of Freddy with his popsicle stick, of Cousin Alfonso; of a husband three times her age; and the man with no thumb. But what is even harder to remember is the reason she is in prison - the five days she spent in a rented room with Davis. And the consequences of those days. Damaged, terrorized and lonely, this solitary woman - weary of sexual contempt and the effort needed to hope - is driven over the line, where murder seems the only shelter. She is mistaken. There is no shelter from the widow’s eyes, from dreams, from Elvira. With the same eerie power that Jones Gaylexcited reviewers of CORREGIDORA, Gayl Jones has written another sensual, brooding and magnificent novel. 'An American writer with a powerful sense of vital inheritance, of history in the blood.' --John Updike, The New Yorker.

 

 

Gayl Jones was born in Kentucky in 1949. She attended Connecticut College and Brown University, and has taught a Wellesley College and the University of Michigan. Her other books include THE HEALING (1998 National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

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How To Solve It by G. Polya. Garden City. 1957. Anchor/Doubleday. A93. 253 pages. Cover by George Giusti.Typography By Edward Gorey.

 

anchor how to solve it a93FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

    Heuristic - the study of the methods and rules of discovery and invention - has until our time been a largely neglected, almost forgotten, branch of learning. The disputed province of logic or philosophy or psychology, it tries to understand the process of solving problems and its typical mental operations. Today heuristic is undergoing a revival whose impetus *’ is provided largely by Professor G. Polya’s unique HOW TO SOLVE IT, the outstanding modern contribution to the study of problem solving. Though Professor Polya, an eminent mathematician, uses specific examples taken largely from geometry, his principal aim is to teach a method which can be applied to the solution of other problems, more or less technical. The particular solution of a particular problem is, for his purposes, of minor importance. The approach used in heuristic reasoning is constant regardless of its subject, and can be expressed in simple but incisive questions: ‘What is the unknown? What are the data? What is the condition? Do you know a related problem?’ Deftly, Polya the teacher shows us how to strip away the irrelevancies which clutter our thinking and guides us toward a clear and productive habit of mind. The ‘Short Dictionary of Heuristic’ Polya Gincluded in How TO SOLVE IT supplies the history, techniques, and terminology of heuristic with brilliant precision, and there is a concluding section of nineteen Problems, Hints, and Solutions.

 

 

George Pólya (December 13, 1887 – September 7, 1985) was a Hungarian mathematician. He was a professor of mathematics from 1914 to 1940 at ETH Zürich and from 1940 to 1953 at Stanford University. He made fundamental contributions to combinatorics, number theory, numerical analysis and probability theory. He is also noted for his work in heuristics and mathematics education.

 

 

 

 

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The Collected Works Of Jane Bowles by Jane Bowles. New York. 1966. Farrar Straus Giroux. Introduction by Truman Capote. 431 pages. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne.

 

collected works of jane bowlesFROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

     Jane Bowles has for many years had an underground reputation as one of the truly original writers of the twentieth century. This collection of expertly crafted short fiction will fully acquaint all students and scholars with the author Tennessee Williams called the most important writer of prose fiction in modern American letters. The works here include a novel "Two Serious Ladies", a play "In the Summer House", and seven short stories never before printed in book form, bearing the over-all title "Plain Pleasures".

 

 

 

Bowles JaneJane Bowles (born Jane Sydney Auer; February 22, 1917 – May 4, 1973) was an American writer and playwright. Born into a Jewish family in New York, Jane Bowles spent her childhood in Woodmere, New York, on Long Island. She developed tuberculous arthritis of the knee as a teenager and her mother took her to Switzerland for treatment, where she attended boarding school. As a teenager she returned to New York, where she gravitated to the intellectual bohemia of Greenwich Village. She married writer and composer Paul Bowles in 1938. In 1943 her novel Two Serious Ladies was published. The Bowleses lived in New York until 1947, when Paul moved to Tangier, Morocco; Jane followed him in 1948. While in Morocco, Jane had an intense and complicated relationship with a Moroccan woman named Cherifa. She also had a close relationship with torch singer Libby Holman. Jane Bowles wrote the play In The Summer House, which was performed on Broadway in 1953 to mixed reviews. Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and John Ashbery considered her to be one of the finest and most underrated writers of American fiction. Bowles, who suffered from alcoholism, had a stroke in 1957 at age 40. Her health continued to decline, despite various treatments in England and the United States, until she had to be admitted to a clinic in Málaga, Spain, where she died in 1973.

 

 

 

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Dr. Futurity by Philip K. Dick. New York. 1960. Ace Books. Paperback Original. Bound As An Ace Double With SLAVERS OF SPACE by John Brunner. D-421. 138 pages.

 

ace dr futurity d 421FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

    DR. FUTURITY is a 1960 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick. It is an expansion of his earlier short story ‘Time Pawn‘, which first saw publication in the summer 1954 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. DR. FUTURITY was first published as a novel by Ace Books as one half of Ace Double D-421, bound together with John Brunner's SLAVERS OF SPACE. Dr. Jim Parsons is a doctor from 2012, born in 1980. Abruptly, he undergoes involuntary time travel to 2405 CE, and finds that his profession is treated with disdain. In the future, the population is static, with no natural births; only a death can cause the formation of a new embryo. The result is a society ambivalent toward death, as controlled genetics ensures that each successive generation better benefits the human race as a whole. By killing off the weak, poverty and disease are eliminated, and humanity has an optimal chance for survival. Moreover, a single race derived from African Americans and Native Americans controls this future world, as caucasians have been wiped out or integrated centuries earlier. After Parsons cures a dying woman (not knowing that this is considered a heinous crime in this time period), Chancellor Al Stenog exiles him to Mars, but the spaceship is intercepted en route, and Parsons is returned to a deserted Earth far in the future. On finding a marker with instructions on how to operate the time travel controls on the spaceship, he is directed to a Native American-style tribal lodge, where he must perform surgery to save the life of a wounded time traveler, Corith, after the latter had previously died from an arrow wound. Parsons extracts the arrow, but it later mysteriously rematerializes in Corith's body. To resolve this situation, Parsons and Corith's relatives travel back to Corith's previous assignment in 1579 on the Pacific Coast of North America, where Corith was to kill Sir Francis Drake, in order to change history and preserve the Native American way of life, avoiding their subjugation by European colonial powers. While observing the assassination attempt on Drake, Parsons realizes that Drake is actually Chancellor Stenog, who is lying in wait for Corith. Parsons tries to warn Corith, but Corith discovers that Parsons is white and attacks him. In the ensuing struggle, Parsons inadvertently stabs Corith through the heart with one of the arrows that were meant for Drake. In retribution, Parsons is left stranded by Corith's relatives in 1597, a time in which the European explorers had departed. Parsons is rescued by Loris, Corith's daughter, when she learns that she will have Parson's child in the future. While briefly back in 2405, Parsons realizes that the reason the arrow mysteriously reappeared in Corith's chest after he'd removed it was because he had murdered him for a second time to cover his tracks. If Corith were to recover, he would have revealed that it was Parsons who killed him, and an unwitting Parsons from slightly earlier would have been left helpless at the hands Corith's relatives. As he stands over Corith, ready to kill him for a second time, he decides against it and tries to flee. But before he can do so, two people appear in the room from the future and kill Corith with the second arrow to the heart. Parsons quickly realizes that the murderers are the children he had with Loris, traveling back to 2405 from an even more distant future. His children take Parsons forward in time to meet with Loris again, and he struggles with the decision to return to 2012. Eventually, he does, back to the same day that he left and to the doting wife who saw him off earlier that morning. He sets about his old life, with a new task at hand. The novel closes with him constructing the stone marker that will eventually save his life on that desolate future Earth.

 

 

Dick Philip KPhilip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick's thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. ‘I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,’ Dick wrote of these stories. ‘In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.’ In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna. New York. 2006. Atlantic Monthly Press. 323 pages. Jacket art by Bruno Barbier/Robert Harding. 0871139448. September 2006.

 

0871139448FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   ‘Abie has followed the arc of a letter from London back to Africa, to the coffee groves of Kholifa Estates, the plantation formerly owned by her grandfather. It is a place she remembers from childhood and which now belongs to her - if she wants it. Standing among the ruined groves she strains to hear the sound of the past, but the ‘layers of years’ in between then and now are too many. So begins her gathering of the family’s history through the tales of her aunts.’ ‘This is the story of four lives: Asana, Mariama, Hawa and Serah Kholifa, born to the different wives of a wealthy plantation owner in an Africa where change is just beginning to arrive. Asana, lost twin and head-wife’s daughter. Hawa, motherless child and manipulator of her own misfortune. Mariama, who sees what lies beyond this world. And Serah, follower of a Western-made dream.’ Stretching across generations and set against the backdrop of a country’s descent into freefall, ANCESTOR STONES is a novel about understanding the past and how stories ancient and new Forna AminattaAminatta Forna is also the author of ANCESTOR STONES, a novel, and THE DEVIL THAT DANCED ON THE WATER, a memoir of her activist father, and her country, Sierra Leone.shape who we become, and one which offers a different way of seeing the world we share. It is the story of a nation, a family and four women’s attempts quietly to alter the course of their own destiny.

 

 

Aminatta Forna is also the author of ANCESTOR STONES, a novel, and THE DEVIL THAT DANCED ON THE WATER, a memoir of her activist father, and her country, Sierra Leone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harmless Poisons, Blameless Sins by Mohammed Mrabet. Santa Barbara. 1976. Black Sparrow Press. Taped and Translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles. 105 pages. 0876852746.

 

0876852746FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   During his childhood Mrabet listened to traditional story tellers in Tangier´s cafés - a world that fascinated him. Later on he would invent his own stories, and Paul Bowles taped and transcribed his stories. Mrabet´s first novel Love with a Few Hairs was published 1967 in London by Peter Owen, followed two years later with The Lemon. Since then, seventeen books written by Mohammed Mrabet have been published and his works have been translated into twelve languages. Henry Miller wrote: ‘Mrabet sees what it means to work simply and tellingly. His writing is quite unique and an inspiration not only to young writers but to veterans too. He has found the secret of communicating on all levels.’ The language of Mrabet is a maze like the thousand alleys of the Medina - seductive, but dangerous - without a guide one is lost in suggestions and allusions. His culture does not lend itself to our limited rational thought - the only way is by feeling into it, not thinking.

 

 

 

Mrabet MohammedMohammed Mrabet (real name Mohammed ben Chaib el Hajjem), born on March 8, 1936, is a Moroccan author artist and storyteller of Berber heritage from the Beni Ouraaghil tribe in the Rifian Mountains. Mrabet is mostly known in the West through his association with Paul Bowles, William Burroughs and Tennessee Williams. Mrabet is an artist of intricate, yet colorful, felt tip and ink drawings in the style of Paul Masson or a more depressive, horror-show Jean Miro, which have been shown at various galleries in Europe and America. Mrabet's art work is his own: very loud and intricate, yet comparable with that of his contemporary, Jillali Gharbaoui (1930-1971). Mrabet is increasingly being recognized as an important member of a small group of Moroccan Master Painters who emerged in the immediate post Colonial period and his works have become highly sought after, mostly by European collectors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oriental Tales by Marguerite Yourcenar. New York. 1985. Farrar Straus Giroux. 147 pages. hardcover. 0374227284. Jacket painting by Tao-chi (1641-ca. 1710), from ‘Returning Home.’ Jacket design by Cynthia Krupat.

 

0374227284FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Legends caught in flight, fables, allegories - these ten ORIENTAL TALES form a singular edifice in the work of Marguerite Yourcenar, as precious as a chapel in a vast palace. From China to Greece, from the Balkans to Japan, these TALES take us from a portrait of the painter Wang-Fo, ‘who loves the image of things and not to the things themselves’ and whose own work saves him from execution; to legends of a hero betrayed and then rescued by love; to the Indian goddess Kali, who in her unhappiness discovers ‘the emptiness of desire.’ There is violence, murder, betrayal in these tales of love and adventure, and yet an admirable economy in their telling; there are hints of the fantastic and the unexplained. Dream and myth speak here in a language rich in images which imply other, more secret meanings. Marguerite Yourcenar’s ORIENTAL TALES follow no established tradition; they have a lyricism and subtlety which are rare in contemporary literature. Their roots, their inspiration is in the East, but this is only the beginning: with the excuse of an Oriental tale, Marguerite Yourcenar has built a world of reflections upon art. ORIENTAL TALES was first published in France in 1938; this is its first appearance in English.

 

 

Yourcenar MargueriteMarguerite Yourcenar (8 June 1903 – 17 December 1987) was a French novelist and essayist born in Brussels, Belgium, who became a US citizen in 1947. Winner of the Prix Femina and the Erasmus Prize, she was the first woman elected to the Académie française, in 1980, and the seventeenth person to occupy seat 3. Yourcenar was born Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie Ghislaine Cleenewerck de Crayencour in Brussels, Belgium, to Michel Cleenewerck de Crayencour, of French bourgeois descent, originating from French Flanders, a very wealthy landowner, and a Belgian mother, Fernande de Cartier de Marchienne, of Belgian nobility, who died ten days after her birth. She grew up in the home of her paternal grandmother. She adopted the surname Yourcenar – an almost anagram of Crayencour, having one fewer c – as a pen name; in 1947 she also took it as her legal surname. Yourcenar's first novel, Alexis, was published in 1929. She translated Virginia Woolf's The Waves over a 10-month period in 1937. In 1939, her partner at the time, the literary scholar and Kansas City native Grace Frick, invited Yourcenar to the United States to escape the outbreak of World War II in Europe. She lectured in comparative literature in New York City and Sarah Lawrence College. Yourcenar was bisexual; she and Frick became lovers in 1937 and remained together until Frick's death in 1979 and a tormented relationship with Jerry Wilson. After ten years spent in Hartford, Connecticut, they bought a house in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on Mount Desert Island, where they lived for decades. They are buried alongside each other at Brookside Cemetery, Mount Desert, Maine. In 1951, she published, in France, the novel Memoirs of Hadrian, which she had been writing on-and-off for a decade. The novel was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim. In this novel, Yourcenar recreated the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world, the Roman emperor Hadrian, who writes a long letter to Marcus Aurelius, the son and heir of Antoninus Pius, his successor and adoptive son. The Emperor meditates on his past, describing both his triumphs and his failures, his love for Antinous, and his philosophy. The novel has become a modern classic.

 

 

 

 

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The Price Of The Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985 by James Baldwin. New York. 1985. St Martin's Press. 690 pages. hardcover. 0312643063. Jacket design by Andy Carpenter.

 

0312643063FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   James Baldwin is one of the major American voices of this century. Nowhere is this more evident than in THE PRICE OF THE TICKET, which includes virtually every important piece of nonfiction, short and long, that Mr. Baldwin has ever written. With total truth and profound insight, these personal, prophetic works have awakened our nation to the black experience. It is safe to say that white Americans would have understood far less about what it means to be black, and blacks about themselves, without Mr. Baldwin to guide us. The book contains the full texts of Baldwin’s three great book-length essays, THE FIRE NEXT TIME, NO NAME IN THE STREET, and THE DEVIL FINDS WORK, along with dozens of other pieces, ranging from a 1948 review of RAINTREE COUNTY to a magnificent introduction to this book that, as so many of Mr. Baldwin’s works do, combines his intensely private experience with the deepest examination of black-white relations today. In a way, the book is an intellectual history of the twentieth-century black American experience (and, by extension, of the white American experience); in another, it is autobiography of the highest order. There are scenes so vivid, so beautifully realized and evoked, that to read them is to remember them forever. There is anger and profound pain. But there is always the redemptive force of a humanity that, Baldwin suggests, lies at the core of all of us, black and white. No one writes more beautifully than James Baldwin. The power of his words reveals this country’s soul.

 

 

Baldwin JamesJAMES BALDWIN was born in New York City on August 2, 1924. He was the first of nine children and grew up in Harlem where his father was a minister. For six years, after his graduation from high school in 1942, he found work in a variety of minor jobs. When he was twenty-four he left for Europe and lived there almost ten years. During this time, he wrote his first three books: GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, NOTES OF A NATIVE SON, and GIOVANNI’S ROOM. They firmly established him as one of America’s outstanding young writers. In 1937, he returned to New York. , where he lived when not on one of his frequent trips abroad. In 1961, Mr. Baldwin’s fourth book, the collection of brilliant essays entitled NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME, brought him broad public recognition as well as distinguished critical attention. Perhaps the most meaningful book ever to discuss being Negro in America, NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME was the recipient of numerous awards and a devoted following. The following year brought similar acclaim for his best-selling novel, ANOTHER COUNTRY. In 1963, the prophetic THE FIRE NEXT TIME jolted both the critical world and the bookbuying public. Instantly acclaimed, as Granville Hick said, as ‘a great document of our times, in literary power as well as in strength of feeling and clarity of insight,’ the book rushed to the top of all the best-seller lists. James Baldwin is also the author of three plays. The first, THE AMEN CORNER, was originally produced at Howard University. It had a long and successful run in Los Angeles, later opened on Broadway in 1965, and, as GOING TO MEET THE MAN was published, another production toured the world under the auspices of the State Department. A dramatization of GIOVANNI’S ROOM was staged by the Actor’s Studio workshop. In 1964, his BLUES FOR MR. CHARLEY opened off Broadway and was published simultaneously in book form. Like THE AMEN CORNER, it has been produced throughout this country and Europe. 

 

 

 

 

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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. New York. 1996. Penguin Books. 432 pages. paperback. 0140434143. The cover shows ‘Miss Cazenove mounted on a Grey Hunter’ by Jacques-Laurent Agasse. Edited and with an introduction by Kathryn Sutherland. 

 

0140434143FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   MANSFIELD PARK is Jane Austen’s most profound and perplexing novel. Adopted into the household of her uncle, Sir Thomas Bertram, Fanny Price grows up a meek outsider among her cousins in the unaccustomed elegance of Mansfield Park. Soon after Sir Thomas absents himself on estate business in Antigua (the family’s investment in slavery and sugar is considered in the Introduction in a new, post-colonial light), Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive at Mansfield, bringing with them London glamour, and the seductive taste for flirtation and theatre that precipitates a crisis. While MANSFIELD PARK appears in some ways to continue where PRIDE AND PREJUDICE left off, it is, as Kathryn Sutherland shows in her illuminating Introduction, a much darker work, which challenges ‘the very values (of tradition, stability, retirement and faithfulness) it appears to endorse’. This new edition provides an accurate text based, for the first time since its original publication, on the first edition of 1814.

 

 

Austen JaneJane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it. Austen's works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew's A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture. Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is ‘famously scarce’, according to one biographer. Only some personal and family letters remain (by one estimate only 160 out of Austen's 3,000 letters are extant), and her sister Cassandra (to whom most of the letters were originally addressed) burned ‘the greater part’ of the ones she kept and censored those she did not destroy. Other letters were destroyed by the heirs of Admiral Francis Austen, Jane's brother. Most of the biographical material produced for fifty years after Austen's death was written by her relatives and reflects the family's biases in favour of ‘good quiet Aunt Jane’. Scholars have unearthed little information since.

 

 

 

 

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Conversation In The Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa. New York. 1984. Harper & Row. 601 pages. hardcover. 0060145021. (original title: Conversacion en La Catedral).

 

0060145021FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   A powerful novel of political and personal greed, corruption, and terror set in modem Peru, by the author of The Green House and THE TIME OF THE HERO. Under the rule of the unseen military dictator General Odria. suspicion, paranoia, and blackmail become the realities of public and private life. Lust and violence are commodities for the rich and powerful, and for the people there is anonymity or recognition, real or imagined, as enemies of the public order. Through the doors of The Cathedral, a bar and brothel in Lima, come the participants - escapees, and ordinary citizens of a city caught in a web of rottenness and fear. For Santiago Zavala, journalist and son of a rich and famous politician, and the former chauffeur Ambrosio, a chance meeting begins a narrative of events that encompasses their lives and those of many others. Full of vivid scenes and characters, this is an extraordinary panorama of city life during a dictator’s regime and the story of its incipient decay and breakdown. Conversation in The Cathedral is a frightening and impressive portrait of political evil by a leading contemporary Latin American novelist. Written on many levels and brilliantly translated by Gregory Rabassa, it appropriately takes its epigraph from Balzac ‘the novel is the private history of Vargas Llosa Marionations.’

 

 

Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010. Peru's foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include THE FEAST OF THE GOAT, THE BAD GIRL, AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER, THE WAR OF THE END OF THE WORLD, and THE STORYTELLER. He lives in London. 

 

 

 

 

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Mule Bone: A Comedy Of Negro Life by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. New York. 1991. Harper Collins. 282 pages. hardcover. 0060553014. Jacket design by Suzanne Noli. Jacket illustration by David Diaz.

 

0060553014FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Set in Eatonville, Florida, Zora Neale Hurston’s hometown and the inspiration for much of her fiction, this energetic and often farcical play centers on Jim and Dave, a two-man song-and-dance team, and Daisy, the woman who comes between their singing and dancing. When jealousy gets the better of Jim, he picks up a mule bone and hits Dave. Chaos and hilarity ensue as the town breaks into two factions: the Methodists, who think Jim should be pardoned; and the Baptists, who think he should be banished for his crime. The exact origins of the dispute between Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston remain mysterious, but the vehemence of their disagreement has made MULE BONE an object of great curiosity in Afro-American literary history. Accompanying this edition of MULE BONE are the original Hurston short story on which the play was based and a fascinating look at the many sides of the MULE BONE controversy. From Hughes’s autobiography, the biographies of Hurston and Hughes, and the collaborators’ personal (and often heated) correspondence, we learn how the authors’ personal and professional clash not only created an irreparable rift in their friendship but truly buried Hurston Zora Nealethe play unread and unproduced - until now.

 

 

ZORA NEALE HURSTON (1891-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist and was the author of many fiction and nonfiction works, including THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, MULES AND MEN, and DUST TRACKS ON A ROAD. LANGSTON HUGHES (1902-1961) was a poet, novelist, lecturer, and playwright and was the author of more than thirty-five books, including THE WEARY BLUES, SIMPLE SPEAKS HIS MIND, and THE BIG SEA.

 

 

 

 

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